Company Snapshot: Duckweed Urban Market
803 N Tampa St
Tampa, FL 33602
813 221- DUCK (3825)
Internet Homepage, Facebook, Twitter
Total Current Stores
1 (one opening soon)
Michelle Deatherage: Owner
Brent Deatherage: Owner
“It’s far more than a convenience store, but not a major grocery store.” Michelle Deatherage
These words, spoken by the store’s owner, perfectly describe the small 2,750 sq.-ft. grocery store in downtown Tampa, Florida. Duckweed began as many companies have, there was a problem and someone decided to solve it. While there are many grocery stores in various areas of South Tampa, none are directly in downtown, even though there are many residents living there. In 2011, two of those residents, Michelle and Brent Deatherage, decided they were tired of not having a walkable grocery store and opened their own little urban market. Their first store was just 600 sq.-ft., but two years later they moved into a larger space at the bottom of one of the main apartment complexes in downtown.
While it is simple in design and has a limited selection of products, for downtown residents it is the perfect walkable market with a modern urban feel. The store carries wines, beer, produce, meats, organics, coffee, tea, dairy, household items, locally-made products, and pet foods. I had a chance to visit the store and while it isn’t somewhere I would specifically visit for groceries (only because I don’t live in downtown and parking is extremely limited), it is a place I would/will go to for its café and juice bar. Customers can order wraps, quinoa bowls, tamales, flatbreads, wheatgrass shots, and a variety of smoothies. Not only has the store given residents a place to shop, but it has greatly added to the character of downtown and the community.
While many areas of South Tampa have been drawing in new residents with the addition of many new residential and retail properties, Channelside has been the most talked about with Michael Vinik’s mega plans to redevelop the whole area. Recently, the owners of Duckweed announced that they have leased a 2,000 sq.-ft. location in the up-and-coming Channelside District. Residents of Channelside have been asking for a local grocery store for many years, as the closest store is not close at all (or at least it doesn’t feel like it). There had been rumors that Publix would be the one to open in the area, but Duckweed has officially made the first move, and as Mrs. Deatherage put it, “someone has to buck up and take the lead.”
Usually when a company is chosen each month for the snapshot it is one that has been open for many years, has an impressive growth or sales rate, or is one of the top supermarkets in the country. For the next few months I will be highlighting small, one to two unit health grocery stores. These stores don’t have impressive growth or over the top sales history, but what they do have are owners that are passionate about health and wellness and have created a store around that passion.